Why is My Dog Water Bowl Slimy?

Why is My Dog Water Bowl Slimy?

Dog water bowls are standing water. Given this fact, we don’t think about cleaning them as much as we should. If left alone, you may find your dog bowl feels slick and slimy on the inside. What exactly is causing that and is it safe for your dog? Should you be concerned?

The technical term for this usually invisible slime is called “biofilm.” Biofilm is made up of organic and inorganic, living and dead matter. Basically, it’s a bunch of bacteria adhering to the side of the bowl, bound by a thick substance (the slime you feel). Another way to think of it – it”s the same phenomenon that causes plaque on your teeth.

Sure, it can be good bacteria, but it can also be bad bacteria. E. coli, listeria, and legionella (a bacteria that causes a “Legionnaires” disease, which represents itself as pneumonia) all love to live in biofilm. Have pink slime? Pink slime is a sign of Serratia Marcescens bacteria being present. It can cause all kinds of problems including respiratory infections, septicemia, pneumonia, conjunctivitis, to name just a few!

Biofilm has been known be the cause of ear, urinary tract and bladder infections, not to mention the risks the aforementioned bacteria can cause.

What’s worse, is when bacteria is ingested within biofilm, it is resistant to your dog’s immune system, meaning it is more likely to survive and cause problems. The bacteria can also separate within the body, creating new biofilms and new infections – spreading quickly. It’s also difficult for vets to identify which bacteria is causing the problem, because culture swabs have difficulty breaking through the biofilm to get at the bacteria. Due to all this, it can require high doses of antibiotics to kill the bacteria once it’s in your dog’s system.

As you can see – biofilm is a bacteria’s best friend, and a dog owner’s bane.

How to Prevent Slimy Build Up in Your Dog’s Water Dish

The best thing to do is to regularly wash your dog’s water bowl – some vet’s say daily, other’s say weekly. At the very least, every time it’s empty. And by wash, we mean with a soap and very hot water, not just rinsing.

Also, ceramic or stainless steel dishes are better than plastic. Plastic is porous and gets minute cracks and scratches that are the perfect places for bacteria to grow where your soap and water can’t reach them.

Following these simple tips can help keep your dog healthier.

Is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier the Dog for You?

Is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier the Dog for You?

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is powerful muscular medium sized dog and one of my favourite breeds. Known by those who own them as loving, loyal dogs, they easily steal hearts. But are they right for you? Check out these quick facts to find out!

Breed History

 Most know that this breed of dog was originally a fighting dog.  Developed in England in the 19th century, it was one of the bull and terrier breeds used for fighting. The Staffie, as the breed is commonly called, was developed by crossing bulldogs with terriers, like most fighting breeds, to create a game tenacious fighter. The breed is named after Staffordshire, England, where dog fighting by the miners was very popular. Once the breed was no longer used for fighting, it was bred for temperament to transform it into a household companion.

Temperament 

Due to their fighting past, Staffies have great super friendly nature towards humans but some can show aggression to other animals including cats and dogs. Most people would expect a fighting breed to be aggressive, but toward humans this can’t be further from the truth. As most dogs from the fighting breeds were selected to be friendly toward humans because when the owner was near them during a fight or caring for the dog after a fight, the owners didn’t want to get bitten. So, they selected the calmest most friendly dogs for breeding. Of course, modern day breeders must continue selecting the calmest friendliest dogs to continue these traits.

Because of their background and terrier genes, they do have a strong prey drive. This is something prospective owners should keep in mind. Prey drives must be trained correctly, or they can become a source of behavioral issues including reactivity chasing and biting. Because Staffs can have a lot of prey drive, socialization with other dogs from young is key to creating a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that is comfortable as a family pet.

As a guard dog they don’t do well because they are so friendly. My Staffy was famous in our area and he would escape and go visit all his dog friends and come home when he was done. He would always stop for a pat with anyone he met in the streets. And that reminds me not only are Staffies super friendly they tend to escape and get picked up by strangers a lot more than other breeds. So very secure housing is necessary if you want to keep your Staffie at home.

Energy Level 

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier definitely received the terrier energy level. This is no couch-potato bulldog (though they do love cuddling on the couch after a good play session!). Staffies have a high energy level and do best in a home where they get some type of daily exercise. That can be a walk, a jog, or a rousing game of fetch. Like most high energy breeds, if you don’t give them an outlet, they will find one on their own…like chewing your couch to pieces.

Space Needed

Being a medium, high-energy dog, a Staffie is going to be happiest in a home with a backyard. Having a space where you can make sure she gets exercise every day will help her be less destructive. That being said, if you are sure to give yours plenty of exercise (preferably before you leave for work each day, so she is tired while you are gone), many settle into city life just fine.

Common Health Problems

Definitely not as prone to health problems as their cousins the English Bulldog, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are fairly healthy as breeds go. Like most breed dogs, they are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia as well as patellar luxation. Eye issues also run in this breed, including juvenile cataracts. These are things that responsible breeders screen for, which is why it’s important to buy your puppy from a reputable breeder. Otherwise, you could be faced with large vet bills as these issues often require surgery.

Another issue Staffies are very prone to are allergies. Both environmental and food related allergies seem to plague the breed. Both are usually genetic, so it doesn’t hurt to ask the breeder if there are any known allergies in the lines. Dogs with blue or white coat seem to be much more effected by skin allergies than tans, reds, brindles and blacks. I would myself avoid the blues and whites as not only do they get allergies more often they also are prone to skin cancer more due to lack of pigmentation. By the way we have helped many itchy Staffies with our grain free food and the ones that don’t itch also look great on the Chicken Lamb and Fish grain free formula.

Training

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are an intelligent breed with an eager to please attitude making them very easy to train. Staffies are seen in competition rings – obedience, rally, agility – and also used for therapy and service animal work. They respond quickly and learn easily, making them a fun partner for most activities. Just remember they have that inner prey drive, which will need to be trained correctly. Also, they are very strong for their size and can be quite energetic greeters, so manners such as leash training are equally important.

Feeding Recommendation

We recommend feeding your Staffordshire Bull Terrier our All life Stage Chicken, Lamb & Fish formula from puppy to adult. And giving raw meaty bones twice a week. They will look and feel amazing feeding this way.

 

 

 

 

If your dog is desexed, It may need 20-40% less food than you are currently giving it. Here’s Why!

If your dog is desexed, It may need 20-40% less food than you are currently giving it. Here’s Why!

Spaying or neutering your dog is a good idea if you have no intention of breeding – it can make your life easier because you don’t have to worry about your female going into heat and your male dog marking in your house. It makes both sexes much less likely to run away from home as well.

But desexing a dog does change them – you are affecting their hormone levels after all. And many studies have shown that spayed and neutered dogs have a higher rate of obesity than dogs left intact.

Why is that?

Because hormones are what run the bodies of all animals and when you desex them, you change those hormones.

Some of the “effects” of desexing a dog (male or female) include less energy and a bigger appetite. Couple that with changes to your dog’s metabolism, which affects fat storage, and you have a recipe for an obese, fixed dog if you don’t change their diet and exercise.

When a dog is spayed or neutered, it leads to a reduction of the sex hormones: testosterone in males and estrogen in females. These hormones affect a lot more than just sex drive. And while the reproductive organs are not the only place hormones are created, the adrenal glands now have to work a bit harder to create those hormones to keep the body functioning properly.

One of the big side effects to those missing hormones, is the slowing down of your dog’s metabolism. This means that in order to keep that optimum body condition score (showing 2 or 3 ribs), they will need less food and/or more exercise. Your dog may need as much as a 20-40% reduction in their food (depending on how much you can increase his exercise level) to keep him from getting fat.

Of course, this will depend on a great many factors, including overall health, age, energy level, etc., but the important thing is that you realize you will need to reduce your dog’s food once they are recovered from surgery (you may not want to reduce food while they are recovering as you want them to have plenty of energy to heal). Your dog won’t immediately start gaining weight, since they will have hormones still circulating in their body post-surgery – around 3 weeks for females and 4-6 weeks for males. (By the way, a neutered male dog can still potentially breed during that time, so you still want to keep him away from intact females for about a month and half after surgery).

Once your dog is healed from his surgery, it’s time to up that exercise and lower that food intake. Some dogs may be less energetic after being desexed, depending on how it affects them. Each dog is different. In those cases, you may find it’s easier to reduce their food intake a bit more, if you just can’t get them to exercise. Other dogs will have no change in their energy level and will be happy for the extra game of fetch or a longer walk or run.

The main thing is to keep an eye on your dog’s weight, so that he is not getting too fat or too thin, as his body adjusts. You may have to play with the amounts for a bit as his hormone’s even out, and that’s okay. Just remember to keep those 2 or 3 ribs in sight to keep your dog healthy and avoid all those problems that come with obesity.

Is the Labrador Retriever the Dog for You?

Is the Labrador Retriever the Dog for You?

Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the world. Lovable, friendly and happy with a tail that just doesn’t seem to ever stop wagging, they are known for their personable nature. They are also intelligent. It’s no surprise they are popular as a household pet! Adult Labradors are a fairly good-sized dog, weighing between 24-37 kilograms. Are they right for you? Check out these quick facts to find out!

Breed History

Compared to some breeds, the Labrador is not that old. It was developed in NewFoundland in the 1500s, where the breed was used by cod fisherman. Their dense coat allows them to handle freezing water temperatures and windy ocean spray. Their webbed feet and strong, rudder-like tail helped them swim choppy, icy seas. While many think of them as the duck-hunting dog, originally, they retrieved fish that escaped the nets and ended up on the ice. They were also used to pull sleds as well. Later, they would prove useful as a bird dog. It was British breeders in the 1800s that took dogs from NewFoundland and began to breed them as an official breed with standards, refining the look and establishing a “type.”

Temperament

Loving. That one word is the one most used to describe Labrador Retrievers. Typically outgoing in nature, they socialize well with just about any human or animal in the house or out, making them a great family dog. However, their devotion to their family does make them prone to separation anxiety, so proper training early on is important.

Energy Level

That loving and outgoing temperament equates to an exuberant, high energy dog that can be overwhelming to some, especially small children who may fall victim to their ever-wagging tail or playful bounding. Bred for a “job” they definitely need exercise and would like something to do, even if it’s just fetching a ball or something more engaging like agility or a running partner.

Space Needed

While many families have Labradors in apartments or houses with small backyards, due to their high energy you may find the tight space a bit difficult with a Lab. Their rudder tail knocks over anything at its height, and if you don’t have a large backyard for exercising, you will need to take him out on at least a walk, if not a run, every day.

Labradors become destructive when bored, especially puppies, who are known for chewing up couches and pretty much anything they can put in their mouth, so training and exercise are definitely important. Having space can make that easier, but Labradors are a breed that can adapt to smaller, city life, as long as you give that energy an outlet every day.

Common Health Problems

For the most part, Labradors are known for being fairly low maintenance. They have an easy to care for coat and are fairly healthy. Like all breeds, however, they have a few health problems that are “common” to the breed that anyone considering adding one to their family should know about. Joint issues are a top problem for Labs. They are known for having hip and elbow dysplasia, osteochondrosis of the ankle/knee/elbow (small cracks in the cartilage of the joint), and patellar luxation. These are heredity issues, so make sure any breeder you are looking at puppies from has done the necessary screenings.

We all know Labs love to eat – and now there is scientific proof they have a gene that makes them always hungry. Because of this, and because they are so hard to say “no” to, many Labradors end up obese. Add in a lack of exercise and it’s a recipe for an overweight Lab. Unfortunately, this puts a strain on those joints that already may be prone to issues, possibly exacerbating any problems.

Lastly, Labradors Retriever are very prone to ear issues. Those floppy ears combined with their love of water makes the perfect recipe for ear infections. Many Labs end up with smelly ears that their owners are constantly having to treat. Prevention in the form of routine cleanings and going to the vet for antibiotics at the first sign, is the best practice. Neglected ears can form hematomas that occur when a Labrador is constantly scratching and shaking his bothered ears. Hematomas must be treated by a vet, and sometimes require surgery, so it’s important to keep a Lab’s ears clean and healthy. Training

Since they were bred to do a job, Labrador Retrievers have a great work ethic and are willing and eager learners. Due to their high energy, those training a Labrador need to have patience, as they do get distracted. In particular, Labs need training when it comes to mouthiness – they put their mouth on everything and everyone when they are a puppy – and in self-control. A Lab without self-control is the Lab who drags their owner through the park and jumps on everyone that comes in the front door. He means well, but that 30kg of bounding happiness can cause damage if not trained.

Feeding Recommendation

We recommend feeding your Labrador puppy our Large Breed Puppy due to their final, adult size and growth rate. When they reach 9-10 months, you can switch to our all life stage Chicken, Lamb & Fish formula.

Always feed to keep them at a lean weight, with 2 to 3 ribs showing, so to protect those joints for a long healthy life.

Is Garlic Safe for Dogs?

Is Garlic Safe for Dogs?

Is Garlic Safe for Dogs?

It’s great when pet owners ask questions, because it shows they genuinely care about the well-being of the animals in their care. One of the questions we get asked a lot is, “Is garlic safe for dogs? Why do you have it in Stay Loyal food?”

Many pet poison sites list garlic as a toxic food that you should not feed your dog, along with chocolate and grapes. However, if you dig deeper, and follow the bunny trail down the path of research and homeopathic canine herbalist who specialize in these types of foods, you will find that while this statement can be true, it is grossly overstated.

The statement “too much of a good thing is bad” is true of almost everything we put into our bodies. Too much water can kill you. Potassium is used for lethal injections. Yet both are essential for life – we need water to keep our bodies hydrated and potassium keeps the heart pumping.

In regards to toxicity, the same can be said of garlic. A study done by Interdisciplinary Toxicology was done to figure out just how much of popularly labeled toxic foods – chocolate, caffeine, grapes, raisins, onion, avocado, macadamia nuts, xylitol, alcohol and garlic – your dog would need to consume to start seeing signs of toxicity.

Their conclusion? “Garlic is considered to be less toxic and safe for dogs than onion when used in moderation.” They were feeding 5 grams of garlic per kilogram of body weight each day to the dogs during the trial. That’s a LOT of garlic. Take a 30-kilogram dog, you would have to feed that dog 150 grams of garlic in one day, which equates to almost 21 cloves of garlic (assuming the cloves weigh about 7 grams). And, even at that high amount, the dogs did not develop hemolytic anemia, which is one of the main concerns about feeding garlic.

Obviously, you don’t want to feed your dog this much garlic and have him be at risk for anemia. But you don’t eat 5g of garlic per kilogram of your own body weight a day, either.

However, it’s definitely safe to feed your dog a little each day, and very beneficial!

Garlic Benefits

Rita Hogan is a canine herbalist who has been feeding her dogs garlic for years, her pug is 16-years-old and going strong with this daily dose of garlic.

One of the main reasons many herbalists give their dogs garlic is because it acts an internal flea and tick repellant that is much safer than the chemicals you buy at the pet store.

But it does so much more than that! Garlic also helps the liver detoxify and boosts the immune system. Garlic is known to help with bacterial, viral and fungal infections, things dogs frequently suffer from. Garlic can also lower blood cholesterol, reduce fat build up in arteries and even help prevent blood clots!

So Why is it in Stay Loyal?

At Stay Loyal, we are dedicated to providing a holistic dog food diet that, along with fresh fruit and veggies and meaty bones, will give your dog the best nutrition to live a long and healthy life. As you read above, garlic has many wonderful properties that not only keeps every day pests and problems away, but can help prevent big, potentially fatal problems like blood clots and liver problems. Instead of having to chop and crush fresh garlic daily for your pet, we’ve made it simple by adding it to their kibble. It’s just one more way we are making sure we are feeding the “whole dog” for balanced nutrition from the inside out.

If you wanted to add a bit of fresh garlic to your dog’s food, say when he is fighting a fungal infection or kennel cough, for an extra boost, the following is a good guideline from The Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Dr. Pitcairn:

5 to 7 kilograms: 1/2 clove

9 to 18 kilograms: 1 clove

20 to 32 kilograms: 2 cloves

34 to 40 Kilograms: 2.5 cloves

45+ kilograms: 3 cloves

(One clove equals Approximately 7grams)

Heart Healthy Foods for Dogs

Heart Healthy Foods for Dogs

I bet you didn’t know heart disease is more common in dogs than it is in people. While we can’t remove genetic risks, we can help our dog’s heart stay healthy by making sure they are getting the right foods that support dog heart health. This includes foods that are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Taurine, an amino acids. Here is a list of foods that you can add to your dog’s daily kibble that are good sources of these nutrients.

Vitamin A

* Carrots

* Spinach

* Kale

* Cod Liver Oil

* Turkey Liver

* Beef Liver

* Rock Melon (remove rind)

* Watermelon (remove rinds and seeds)

Vitamin C

* Broccoli

* Strawberries

* Blackberries

* Potatoes

* Raspberries

* Spinach

* Sweet Potato

* Rock melon (remove rind)

* Watermelon (remove rind and seeds)

* Kiwifruit

These three are not high in Vitamin C, but are still considered a “good source”:

* Carrots

* Green beans

Vitamin E

* Spinach

* Kale

* Coconut oil

* Olive oil

* Canola oil

* Broccoli

* Parsley

* Kiwifruit

Taurine

* Beef (especially liver/heart)

* Lamb (especially liver/heart)

* Dark chicken meat

* Seaweed

* Krill

* Salmon

* Tuna

Whenever you are adding something to your dog’s diet, do so slowly. You don’t want to cause a tummy upset, especially if it’s not something they are used to. Also, some of these foods, like spinach, contain high amounts of more than one of these, so pay attention to what you are giving your dog – you don’t want to give them too much of one mineral or acid. As the saying goes “too much of a good thing is bad.” And that is true. All of these can have bad side effects if your dog has too much.

If you don’t want to fuss with adding these to your dog’s food, select a kibble that contains all these heart healthy ingredients already! Our Stay Loyal line has added vitamins (including A, C, and E), added Taurine and as well as foods that include these naturally, like potatoes, fruits, vegetables and oils.

And don’t forget – food is not the only thing that’s important for keeping your dog’s heart healthy! Exercise and weight management are just as important. Make sure your dog is getting the right amount of exercise and that you are keeping him at a good weight. Excess fat makes the heart work harder, so a lean dog will be healthier!

Exercise, a healthy weight and good food can really help your dog live longer and stay healthy